KUALA LUMPUR: Rubber product exports are expected to hit RM16billion this year, surpassing the initial target of RM15.17 billion due to strong performance in the first six months of 2015.
Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, said the exports hit RM8.46 billion in the first half of this year, up 15.1 per cent from the same period of 2014.
Last year, Malaysia’s export value stood at RM10.7 billion with a global exports market share of 52 per cent. Uggah said the gloves sub-sector stood out as the most prominent product in terms of its contribution to export earnings.
“The demand for medical gloves is also expected to increase further in line with the growing awareness on the importance of gloves in preventing the spread of infectious diseases and the rise in health expenditure worldwide,” Uggah added.
He said this in his opening speech at the Malaysia Rubber Export Promotion Council’s (MREPC) 15th anniversary dinner and industry awards here on Wednesday.
Uggah said investments in new plants, equipment and to replace existing lines to meet market demand were projected to exceedRM7 billion between now and 2020.
“The investments will focus on enhancement of technology and innovation which are critical in upgrading productivity and efficiency of the industry,” he said.
Uggah said Malaysia is the world’s largest rubber goods exporter in terms of volume while Thailand is named as the world’s biggest exporter in value terms.
“This is because much of Thailand’s exports are original brand manufactured products (OBM) whereas goods exported by Malaysia are mainly condoms manufactured for other well-known brands.
“Nevertheless, Malaysian condom manufacturers have embarked on efforts to increase the export of OBM and I hope that we will become the world’s largest exporter both in value and volume terms,” he said.